I have heard that the accounts of Jesus resurrectioncould be misleading as
the dates could be inaccurate. In other words,accounts of Jesus appearing
seemingly after he is resurrected could have been written before he had
died. Is this true?


If an account of Jesus being resurrected was written before he died that
would be even more impressive than accounts of him being resurrected after
he died. That would be quite a prophecy, given that this is what happened
(ie that Jesus did in fact raise from the dead). One could argue that
Jesus gave an account of his resurrection before he died. In Matthew
12:40, Jesus said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the
belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three
nights in the heart of the earth.

The answer is that it simply does not make sense that the accounts of
Jesus being resurrected were produced before he died. Scholars believe
that the gospel accounts were written after AD 50. Mark in the 50s or
early 60s, Matthew and Luke in the 60s and John in the 70s or 80s AD. I
have heard of no scholar who has even proposed that the gospels were
written before Jesus died. If that happened, then they would be
fabrications, which the early church certainly would not have accepted.

What we can say for sure is that the apostles believed Jesus was raised
from the dead. All historical accounts of the early church are consistent
that the church from the very beginning taught that Jesus was raised from
the dead. The eye-witnesses to his life, and there were hundreds, were
all witnesses to the fact that he died in Jerusalemon a cross. There were
also 500 eye-witnesses to his being alive (ie resurrected) after he was
killed. Paul mentions these 500 eye witnesses in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8.
He is saying, essentially, “If you do not believe me, just ask one of
them.” If one proposes that Jesus did not really die and that is why
people claimed he was resurrected, then this implies that hundreds of
people who were intimate friends of Jesus, many of whom were actually
present when he was killed, were confused about whether he was alive or
dead. This makes no sense. It would be like dozens of your best friends
and family members being confused about whether or not you are in fact
alive right now. Such a thing does not happen.

Now, if someone wants to propose that people LIED and claimed that Jesus
was raised from the dead, I believe that this claim can be easily refuted
as well, but at least it makes some sense. However, this is not what you
asked. You are asking whether it is possible that the claim of the
resurrection of Jesus came about because of inaccuracies about when he
died?that people thought he was resurrected because they were confused
about whether he had died yet. The answer is, no, this does not make any
sense at all. Anyone making this argument is not thinking clearly.

John Oakes

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